Early Pregnancy: Signs and Symptoms

Early pregnancy is an exciting yet challenging time for many women. It encompasses the initial 13 weeks of gestation, also known as the first trimester. This period is marked by various physical and hormonal changes as the body adapts to support the developing fetus. Understanding the signs and symptoms of early pregnancy can help expectant mothers manage this crucial phase with greater ease and awareness.

Embryonic Age vs. Fetal Age

Embryonic age refers to how far along a pregnancy is, calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period. Fetal age, on the other hand, is the actual age of the developing baby. While embryonic age provides a general timeline, fetal age offers a more precise measurement of the baby’s growth and development.

Shortness of Breath

One of the earliest signs of pregnancy can be shortness of breath. If you find yourself winded after climbing stairs or rushing around, it might be due to your body needing more oxygen to support the developing fetus. This symptom can persist throughout pregnancy as the growing baby puts increasing pressure on your lungs and diaphragm.

Sore and Enlarging Breasts

Tender, sore, and enlarging breasts are common early indicators of pregnancy. Hormonal changes cause the breasts to prepare for milk production, leading to sensitivity and discomfort. You may also notice darkening of the areolas and more pronounced veins on your chest. To alleviate breast tenderness, consider wearing loose-fitting clothing and taking warm showers.


Early pregnancy is a time of significant change and adaptation for a woman’s body. Recognizing and understanding the symptoms can help expectant mothers navigate this period with greater comfort and confidence. From shortness of breath and sore breasts to fatigue and morning sickness, these symptoms are a natural part of the pregnancy journey. By taking proactive steps to manage these changes, you can ensure a healthier and more enjoyable pregnancy experience.

The Australian Concept Infertility Medical Center offers comprehensive support and guidance to help you through every stage of your pregnancy.